“Social media?”

“More like anti-social media.”

“What a waste of time!”

I didn’t agree with what Peter was saying. But I could certainly understand it.

Like most business owners, Peter is busy — really busy. And, as Peter puts it, he also has the attention span of a ferret on crack.

Perhaps you’ve felt that way too.

At first glance, social media really does seem like a giant waste of time.

But when you dig a little deeper you’ll notice something special.

A special something that’ll even make a ferret on crack take notice.

Let’s see how social media marketing and email marketing can actually help you do more business, or as Peter would say, put more cheese in the bag.

The first thing to remember: you are not your customer.

Perhaps you don’t use social media personally. You may not even subscribe to any email newsletters. In fact, you may even view all this stuff as SPAM. But there’s a big distinction between you and your customers.

The people who follow your business on social media channels or subscribe to your emails are choosing to do so of their own accord. They opt in because they DO want to hear from you.

Don’t mistake your personal preferences for theirs.

A smart man once told me, “Sell your customers what they want to buy.” The same principle applies here. Give them what they want. And I bet you already know what that is.

What customers want is more of what makes your business special.

Connection. Expertise. An extension of the experience they get in your store.

Nothing is ever going to beat that face-to-face interaction. But your email and social media marketing can serve as the next best thing. It’s an opportunity for you to share more of those stories your customers love. It’s a way to remind people of the great time they had doing business with you.

Doing so makes it easier for your customers to share these stories with their friends. These are the stories that’ll bring more people to your door, more people for you to interact with.

After all, it’s a gas to interact with your customers isn’t it?

Email and social media allow you to interact more frequently and keep your business top of mind. If you approach your email and social media in this way, you’ll create even more opportunities to put the cheese in the bag.

And sure, your business can be successful without email and social media, but it can be even MORE successful with it.

That sounds like fun doesn’t it?

Here’s what you can do for more fun:

  • Reframe your point of view. If you’re negative in your approach, that comes through. Instead, focus on those positive interactions with your customers. Think of your efforts as a way to extend that experience.
  • Actively encourage people to join your email list and follow your social channels. The more people you have connections with the more opportunities you create to influence their behavior.
  • Be consistent. Consistency helps build trust and keeps your business top of mind.

What do you think? With the right approach, could email and social media become something that impacts your business positively?

Peter Lovis is the owner of The Cheese Shop in Concord, Massachusetts. Hear Peter’s story on Episode two of the Small Biz Stories podcast.

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